Connecticut now officially recognizes a local aviator as the first man to fly.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Wednesday that he signed into law a measure insisting that German-born aviator and Bridgeport resident Gustave Whitehead flew in 1901, two years before Wilbur and Orville Wright lifted off from Kitty Hawk, N.C.
Whitehead's supporters say they're correcting a historical mistake. Supporters of the Wright brothers, including the Smithsonian Institution that houses the brothers' historic plane, say Whitehead partisans are wrong.
Connecticut's legislature has jumped into an argument over who was the first aviator to fly.
Legislation waiting for a decision by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says Gustave Whitehead, a German immigrant who lived in Bridgeport, flew the first plane in 1901. That would be two years before the Wright brothers took off from Kitty Hawk, N.C.
Republican State Rep. Larry Miller of Stratford spearheaded the legislation. He says not crediting Whitehead has been a mistake that's now being corrected.
The Wright Brothers' first instrument panel, the wind gauge (anemometer, stopwatch, engine revolutions meter)
Credit Dan Patterson
Aviation commentator Dan Patterson has a different kind of story this week, not about a famous date in history - but instead about the connection between flight and time. You can always spot a pilot, he says, by his or her outsized wristwatch. It's a relationship that goes back to the earliest flights.
Today the Air Force Museum at Wright-Patt will open the doors to its newly renovated 400-seat, giant-screen theatre. The overhaul cost about $800,000 dollars and this weekend the venue will host the Reel Stuff Film Festival of Aviation. Among the diverse lineup of flight-related films, a new film about the Wright Brothers.